Heaven

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
1Corintians 2:9

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

Introduction

What kind of place is heaven?

First, heaven is home. The Bible takes the word “home” with all of its tender associations and with all of its sacred memories and tells us that heaven is home. Second, heaven is a home which is permanent. We have the promise of a home where Christ’s followers will remain forever. Third, the Bible teaches that heaven is a home which is beautiful beyond every imagination. Heaven could not help but be so, because God is a God of beauty. Fourth, the Bible teaches that heaven will be a home which is happy, because there will be nothing to make it sad. In heaven families and friends will be reunited. God’s house will be a happy home because Christ will be there. He will be the center of heaven. To Him all hearts will turn, and upon Him all eyes will rest.

Heaven is not just our far-off future home, but a place we can joyfully look forward to today. The Bible provides more than 600 references to heaven, and we can gain incredible joy and fresh vision for our lives on earth as we read and understand these passages. In this lesson we will look at a handful of these Scriptures and answer 11 questions about heaven.

Frequently Asked Questions About Heaven

  1. Does Jesus Have a Physical Body in Heaven?

Just like we currently bear the image of Adam, we will one day bear the image of Jesus, and have a body like Him. Jesus tells us in Luke 24:39 that His body is real: “… handle me and see for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” Jesus’ body was real. And we will have a real body in heaven.

  1. What Will Our Resurrected Bodies be Like?

The first thing Paul teaches us about our resurrected bodies in 1 Corinthians 15 is that it is not like our current body. Our current body is subject to aging, disease, and death. But our resurrection bodies are incorruptible. You will never get old nor grow tired. You will never suffer disease or age or death.

  1. What Will We Do in Heaven?

The concept of serving God in heaven recurs throughout the book of Revelation. For example, Revelation 7:15 says: “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them” (emphasis mine). I’m thankful, because I would struggle with a heaven where there is nothing to do. When we get to heaven, we will continue to serve God with the gifts He has given us.

  1. Will We Know Each Other in Heaven?

Jesus in His resurrection body was real and his disciples recognized him. That’s the way it will be for you! It is unthinkable that in heaven we will know less than we do here. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but the but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” We will have a greater sense of recognition in heaven than we’ve ever had on earth.

  1. Will We Eat in Heaven?

This is one of the questions I hear most often. I can tell you, there are two occasions in the Bible where Jesus ate after His resurrection. One in Luke 24:42-43 and another in John 21:12-13. Based on our observations of Jesus’ new body, we can be confident we will eat in heaven—and without the negative effects of weight gain and acid reflux. We will be able to eat purely for our enjoyment and no longer for our sustenance!

  1. Will Heaven be Boring?

Our God is not boring—how then can heaven be boring? Psalms 16:11 says “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy, and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (emphasis mine). In His presence is the completeness and absolute explosion of joy! Heaven is God’s place and God is not boring, so I am confident we will not be bored.

  1. Does Purgatory Exist?

The concept of purgatory says you can go to a holding place after death where you have the possibility of changing your eternal destiny. That is not true—purgatory does not exist. It is never mentioned in The Bible. Whatever decisions we make about eternity will be made here and now on earth. You don’t get another chance. Today is the day of salvation.

  1. Will I Go to Heaven?

Only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will go to heaven. Your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life if you “confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead” (Romans 10:9). Jesus said to his disciples, “do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).

  1. Is Hell Real?

Yes, hell is a very real place. When a person dies today, and they don’t know Jesus, their soul and spirit goes to hades. One day, according to Revelation 20:13-14, death and hades will be thrown into the lake of fire, the final and ultimate hell. Hell is real, and it is eternal separation from God and all His goodness.

  1. Where is Paradise?

When a believer died in the Old Testament, their soul and spirit went to Paradise. And on the day of Jesus’ ascension, Paradise changed. Ephesians 4:8-10 says Jesus “led captivity captive” and took them with Him to heaven. He went into Paradise and took all the Old Testament saints and took them to heaven with Him.

  1. Why Should We Learn about Heaven?

God has prepared a place for you to live for eternity. When we lose sight of that, we try to create heaven on earth. We can go to the extreme, spending all our money to buy the biggest house and get all the new toys. And there is nothing wrong with those things, but they will never compare to what awaits us in heaven. If we aren’t careful, we can end up replacing our hunger for heaven with cheap things that will leave us empty.

Heaven Will Be Better Than Anything We Can Imagine

I’ve experienced some amazing things. I’ve visited the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, and Yosemite as well as China, Japan, Canada, and Mexico. I’ve soared in a balloon high above the earth and descended in a submarine deep under water. I’ve enjoyed DisneyLand with my laughing, skipping daughter, when she still dressed in princess gowns and tutus. I’ve eaten enough ice cream of all varieties to fill numerous freezers and at least twice as much bacon but all of these experiences pale compared to what awaits Christ-followers in heaven.

In fact, heaven will be better than all the earthly pleasures combined across the span of time. Regarding this, the Bible says, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Physical death is inevitable this side of heaven, but this was never God’s intent for His beloved creation. Nor is this where He wishes for us to remain. In Christ, He offers us life—to experience, through relationship with Him, all the good and lovely and amazing blessings He has planned for us. He wants to surround us in His love, from now into eternity, and in so doing, casts out all fear.

Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we, His beloved, can confidently say, “Where, o death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

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